Journal of Chemistry

Journal of Chemistry / 2010 / Article

Open Access

Volume 7 |Article ID 689051 | 13 pages | https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/689051

Catalysis in Biodiesel Production by Transesterification Processes-An Insight

Received31 Jul 2009
Accepted20 Sep 2009

Abstract

Biodiesel is the mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid feedstock, such as vegetable oils and animal fats, for use in compression ignition (diesel) engines. The conversion of component triglycerides in oils to simple alkyl esters with short chain alcohols like methanol and ethanol amongst others is achieved mainly by transesterification. The transesterification reaction, a reversible process proceeds appreciably by the addition of catalysts, which can be acidic, basic or organic in nature, usually in molar excess of alcohol. The economy of the process depends on the type and quantity of catalyst used among other factors. The catalyst can be homogeneous or heterogeneous depending on whether it is in the same or different phase with the reactants; oils and alcohols. This paper attempts to give an insight into some of the various types of catalysts that have been used to effect the transesterification of vegetable, waste and animal oils in biodiesel production.

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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